Apple Crumble

Apple Crumble served with custard

I have always absolutely adored apple crumble. For me it beats the more sophisticated apple pie every time for its simplicity and texture. So when my mum kindly brought over some wind fallen Cox apples from her garden, there was really only one use for them in my mind.

This dessert is easy to make and as my experience proved today you can use ordinary eating apples just as successfully as the more traditional cooking apples.  My unrefined brown sugar of choice is demerara, though soft brown sugar would work well too.  The most important thing whilst making a crumble is the rubbing in process; it does take a little time but shortcut methods using blenders do not give as good results. If you're going to do it, why not do it properly?

I followed this recipe from the BBC website and found that I ended up with too much crumble. I decided to leave the ingredient quantities unchanged here however as your mileage may vary and any leftover will freeze for a later date perfectly well.

One last tip: if you like your crumble extra crumbly, after it's baked through give it a quick blast under a hot grill for 30 seconds or so to crisp it up that little bit more. Exercise extreme caution with this technique though, too long under the heat and you'll have burnt crumble - no one likes that.


Serves: 4


  • 300g plain flour
  • 175g unrefined brown sugar
  • 200g unsalted butter, cubed at room temperature
  • knob Butter for greasing
  • a pinch salt


  • 450g apples, peeled, cored and cut into 1cm pieces
  • 50g unrefined brown sugar
  • 1 tbs plain flour
  • a pinch ground cinnamon


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  2. Combine the flour and sugar in a large mixing bowl with a pinch of salt, mix well.
  3. Bit by bit, rub in the cubed butter into the flour mixture by running it between thumb and fingertips. Repeat this process until you are left with a crumble mixture that resembles fine breadcrumbs.
  4. Put the apple pieces into another bowl and then sprinkle the sugar, flour and cinnamon over the top. Carefully stir the fruit to evenly coat it.
  5. Grease a baking dish with a knob of butter and then spoon in the fruit filling. Ensure the fruit is distributed evenly using the back of the spoon.  Sprinkle over the crumble topping to finish.
  6. Oven bake for 40-50 minutes until the topping has browned and the fruit mixture is bubbling.
  7. Either serve immediately, or if making in preparation for later; leave to completely cool before reheating for another 10-15 minutes.

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